Friday, December 9, 2011

It's been six months... can you believe it??

Hello faithful friends, family and prayer warriors!

I thought today would be a good day to post a new blog on the progress of the kidney transplant family. :)

While Tuesday marked the six month, half a year anniversary of the kidney swap my dad and I participated in this past June... there is a MUCH more important anniversary I wanted to mention today.

49 years ago today, my mom and dad married each other in Alamosa, Colorado.  They were very young and, as we know... life is not always easy - but my mom and dad have been a constant reminder to me that putting in the effort is SO worth it!  I - for one, am very glad to see this day!  I know they both are as well.

They are in Estes Park for the weekend on a much deserved break.  My mom and dad have both told me that being retired is much busier than working... in fact - I think my mom used the words, "crazy busy". :-)

My dad got good news from his team of kidney doctors this past Tuesday.  Right after the surgery he had to report in twice a week at the hospital for a check up.  As we know from past blogs - he kept the doctors on their toes during those first few weeks.  As he gained health and strength... they told him that once a week was all they needed to see him.  Then he went to having appointments every other week (which was huge!!).  Next was once a month and this past Tuesday, he was told he only had to come back every other month.  This was the BEST anniversary present anyone could have given him!

He has also gotten the okay from his doctor to return to the gym to walk on the treadmill and other machines... to gain even better strength.

I sleep better at night knowing that he is doing well and getting better all the time.

Thank you so much for your prayers.  We would be nowhere without them!

My health is good.  I came down with strep throat early in the school year and wondered how my body would react since we reduced it to only one kidney this summer... but to be very honest - I don't feel any different than I did before this surgery.  I healed from the strep throat with antibiotics in the same amount of time as before.  God has truly blessed us!

I could go on and on about the blessings but it is getting late and this week was
L O N G for my class and me.  I'm on my way to bed.

Prayer Requests... Please keep praying for continued strength and good health for my dad and I.

Blessings on your Christmas season.


Thursday, October 20, 2011

New Musings from Monica & Rod - 10-20-11

Wow... my apologies for the delayed posting!

One of my coworkers and good friends told me today, "I checked your blog and I can't tell you how happy it makes me that there isn't anything new to blog!"

It got me to think... and motivated me to post something new because you need to know how well things are going on the whole "Kidney Transplant Experience".

As many of you know... my mom was a travel agent before her retirement.  Being from another country and having many experiences in other countries (including being
tri-lingual...) travel means a lot to my mom, and my dad has had many awesome experiences traveling with my mom.

One of their dreams for retirement was to be able to travel and experience different places.  When my dad fell sick almost 3 years ago - the hopes of my mom and dad traveling were all but dashed.  Dialysis kept them tied to a - 3 times a week at 4 hours each time - schedule.

Last week my folks ventured out for the first time on a real vacation... for 5 days!  No hospital visit was required - this is HUGE guys!  Here my dad talks about it in his own words...

Hey Guys:

So, Heidi, Shadow and I are in Glenwood Springs at the Ramada Inn this weekend.  We came Wednesday and will go home late Monday.  This is the vacation we wanted to take for years, but could never get out of town long enough because of medical appointments, dialysis etc.  We are gradually freeing ourselves from them.  We are at the Ramada because they will take our dog and they give us a free full breakfast every day.  It is about 2 blocks from the Hotel Colorado.  We plan to spend a lot of time in the soothing hot mineral waters, take a little trip to Grand Junction and Palisade, check out a couple of new wineries, attend an all Mozart concert and just crash.  It is so good!


When I called them during their trip - my dad was so happy and told me they wanted to move in... right there into the hotel room... they were having such a good time!  

It was FREEING for me.  I have no other way to express it.  FREEING - it was awesome!

As for me - I had an appointment for a 4 month (anniversary of the surgery) blood draw last week and my doctor told me that the blood work shows that my kidney is growing and taking on the role of both kidneys, even though there is only one of them.  This is GOOD news as I was pretty worried about how much water I could possibly consume AND maintain control and peace in my classroom (bathroom breaks can wreck a sense of peace!) ... as my dad said - "It is so good!"

So there you have the very latest update.  God has blessed us in so many ways!

In the last blog I wrote I asked you to keep my dear friend Kari in your prayers.  She had been battling  stage 4 breast cancer for the past 9 years.  She fought the good fight and showed courage like none other.  Two weeks ago - she passed away and now is throwing awesome parties in heaven (I know this because I went to some of her college parties... ;-)  Kari was an awesome mother, wife and friend.  She knew God and just before she entered heaven she said, "I'm in heaven now."  This was such a profound piece of information for me to hear!

Please keep Kari's husband Eric and 9-year-old son Tanner (we call him "Little Tanner" since we also have a "Big Tanner" living here in our house) in your prayers as they figure out how to live with this loss in their lives.   When I look at the people who are following my blog - Kari is one of them.  It makes me very emotional. 

Thank you for your faithfulness and your prayers.  They mean a lot to all of us.  I will keep you posted as I can.  Thanks also for your patience!

Prayer Requests:

  • Continued health and healing and strength gain for my dad.
  • Thanks and praise that the surgeries were a success!
  • Prayers of peace and healing for Kari's family (this includes her mom and dad and brother!)
Thanks you guys... 




Monday, September 12, 2011

Rod's awesome news! 9-12-11

Hello friends and family!

All is going well here in Denver for both my dad and myself!  School is keeping me pretty busy.  Weekends have much more meaning now than they did this summer! :-)

When my dad and I had our surgeries on June 6, 2011... we were told that it would take a good 3 months for my dad to be back on track - so to say.  Last Tuesday was our 12 week/ 3 month anniversary of the surgeries.  Those doctors really know what they are talking about!  My dad has some awesome news which I will share in a moment.  I did want to tell you that his arm/ which had been so swollen (remember the "Popeye arm"?) and which the fistula was closed off a couple of weeks ago... is not swollen anymore - in fact, it is looking almost normal!  :-)

Here is my dad's good news in his own words:

Monday update.  

We had the very best, most productive clinic today.  Without boring you with too many details, here is what happened.  We were cut to clinic once a month (right after surgery we were going twice a week),   We still have to go for blood tests every other week (but they are short - into the lab, draw the blood, out again in about half an hour, not half a day.)  

They took me off 5 of the medicines I was taking, two were expensive anti-infection drugs - one was the one with a $600 co/pay that the insurance was paying over $1,700 for.  The insurance company will be as happy as I am about this day.  

We are moving toward a clinic appointment every 6 months - that will be heaven.  The Lord is answering those prayers, keep them coming.  Rod

Prayer requests:

  • Thanks and praise that my dad is doing so well.  His cardiologist even told him that his appointments were... boring!  THAT is awesome!
  • Prayers for continued strength gain.  My dad and I have a goal to walk 5 miles together now that the surgeries are in the past and recovery is in full force!
  • Since I have you as a captive praying audience... my good friend from college, Kari, is in the hospital battling cancer.  She needs prayers for healing and her family needs to be uplifted in prayer for strength, rest, peace and wisdom!   It means a lot to me that you guys are such diligent prayer warriors... Thank you from the bottom of my heart!
Blessings on the rest of your week!


Sunday, August 28, 2011

Sunday's update 8-28-11

WOW!  Two whole weeks since I've updated my musings!  Can you tell school has started and I have become suddenly very busy?!

We completed our first full week of school on Friday.  Some of the second graders were dragging by Thursday... definitely their teacher was tired at the end of the week.  We had a faculty party at our Principal's house Friday night and as I was listening to my colleagues tell about how exhausted they were after the fist full week... I realized that I think I'm back to almost normal.  It wasn't just me that was tired!  Life is good - I love my class this year!

My mom and dad just left our house.  They came over for dinner tonight as I was making a dinner that my grandmother (my dad's mom) used to make that my dad, Chris, Kelby and I just LOVE!  My mom and Tanner won't touch it but we make other stuff for them to eat.  It is always a nice tribute to my grandmother who passed away a couple of years ago.  After they left Chris commented on how good my dad looks and how well he seems to be doing especially after the minor surgery he had this past week to close off his fistula.

My dad has a bit of blog to add since his day patient surgery this past Thursday.  It reads:

Thursday's surgery went well.  We had to be at the Hospital at 6:30 A.M.
We were home by noon.  Our Vascular Surgeon, who we like very much (same guy who put the fistula in) was assisted by his son (who is an anesthesiologist) they were impressed by our father daughter transplant story.  

The surgery has not made a big difference in the swelling of the left arm YET.  They say it will over time, but that was not the real purpose of ligating the fistula.  We knew that, but had hoped there would be a miracle.

Well, it has been said here before, it is, what it is.  Tuesday, the 30th we have two doctors appointments and transplant clinic - essentially three doctors appointments. This has to stop, they are eating us alive.  

Well, three of the four grandchildren are now busy with school.  A junior in high school, playing good football at Lutheran High, an 8th grader enjoying being top king pin before he becomes a lowly freshman next year.  And, look out kindergarten, here comes the Princess.  Sometimes it just makes me cry watching them.  Heidi and I have to scramble to keep up with their lives.  It is what we do, we would have no other way.


We continue to praise God for the miracle he gave us in making this whole experience work in a positive way!

Thank you again for your continued prayers and support!  We know we couldn't have done this without you!

Prayer requests

  • Continued strength gain for my dad.
  • Swelling and water retention in the arm with the fistula to go down.
  • Strength and stamina for me as we are back full time in school now.
  • Blessings on the new school year for all students and teachers!
Blessings to you all!... until next time. :)


Monday, August 15, 2011

Monday 8-15-11

Well here we are, at the 10 week anniversary of the 2 surgeries for my dad and I.  I must say... this has been one incredible ride!  For me - the things I've learned and the whole experience has been a miracle!  I know that my dad is very grateful and he views this as nothing short of a miracle as well!  God has blessed us in so many different ways through this journey.

We started teacher's meetings at St. John's Lutheran last Monday.  The first two days for me were pretty big and warranted a nap in the mid-afternoon!  I went from resting on our couch at home (much of the time) to meetings and classroom preparations.  The days that followed in the rest of the week went better in that I was just tired at the end of the day... but I didn't need to actually sleep!  I feel I am at about 95% of my normal stamina. I think that is pretty good.  I'm really looking forward to school starting this Thursday!

My dad continues to get stronger and grow whiskers! :)  He went to church yesterday with us and we got to see many friends and supporters as we were attending an anniversary celebration of some very good family friends and many came to celebrate with them!

My dad will have his fistula closed off on August 25th.  The fistula is a device that was surgically implanted into his left arm and it served as a port for dialysis.  Thanks be to God that he doesn't need the fistula anymore!  It's not worth surgically removing it... but they are going to close it off as it frequently gets blocked and his arm swells up 2 or 3 times its normal size!  My boys call it his "Popeye arm".  We all will be glad when Papa doesn't have a Popeye arm anymore!

To all of my teacher friends who are starting up the new school year... God's blessings to each of you.  Your ministry is so important to so many people!!

Prayer requests

  • Continued strength gain for my dad.
  • Enough stamina to make it through the school week for myself.
  • Continued patience for my mom the saint who looks after my dad and does such a great job of it!
  • Blessings to all of the teachers and students who are going back to school this month - or next month... after all - "It's the most wonderful time of the year!" (I just love that commercial!)


Sunday, August 7, 2011

Happy Sunday! 8-7-11

My apologies for waiting so long to post a new blog entry!  As we approach the beginning of the school year, the pace of life is starting to speed up and I'm having to remember how to create a good balance in order to get everything done!

Our trip to Estes Park was very nice and relaxing!  My boys got to go fly fishing and we spend a lot of good, solid family time together and with my mom and dad.  My dad began driving by himself this week.  This is the first time since the surgery 9 weeks ago.  He went to the post office.  My mom called me while he was gone and we wondered together how it went... of course - it went fine!  It reminded me of the day I got my driver's license - I dropped off my mom at home and drove myself to the library.  I don't know why that sticks out in my head...

We have had the pleasure of hosting my cousin Bev for the past few evenings.  She is staying at our house and spends the days with my mom and dad.  She and my dad are pretty close.  It has been so nice to have her here!

I also got a surprise treat this week when I was at school when childhood friends Eddie and Annie Merz stopped in at St. John's and I just happened to be there.  It was very nice catching up and meeting their amazing kids!

I've been thinking about this blog.  I have decided that I will continue to update it - but only once a week as my leisurely summer is quickly coming to an end!  We start teacher meetings tomorrow and school starts on Thursday, August 17.  I will update this blog on the weekends.

Here is my dad's bit that he gave me last week...

Well it is a good week so far.  Clinic went well Tuesday,  not due back until next Tuesday, that’s a very good thing.  Wednesday I take my youngest daughter, Erica out to lunch for her birthday. I will begin driving this week.  I have not driven since I passed out a couple of times several weeks ago at home.  I don’t want to become one of the ever growing list of people driving through store fronts and into bridges, because of some medical condition.  A favorite cousin of mine from Monte Vita comes this week to visit.  All seems well with the world.  I pray each of you can say the same.


Again friends and family... on behalf of my mom and dad and my family - we thank you for all of the support, the prayers and the encouragement all of you have given in various ways!  Blessings on your week!

Prayer requests

  • Continued improvement in health and strength for both my dad and myself.
  • Safety on the roads for my dad when he is out there driving.
  • Stamina and strength for me as I return back to the classroom and our lives start to get busy again.
Blessings on your week!!


Thursday, July 28, 2011

Thursay's musings - 7-28-11 - Rod's bit

Greetings friends and family!

My dad sent me his bit for our blog the day after I posted the last one... this one is from Tuesday of this week.  Sorry for the delay.  Here we go...

I love not having to go to transplant clinic but once a week.  Although this Friday we have to go in for a blood draw for a lipid panel.  But, as soon as they are done drawing the blood we are free to leave.  

Our clinic on Tuesday was good.  In general they are pleased with me, all of them (except the doctor) said they think I need to drink more water.  I know they are right, but, it is hard to drink 4 quarts of water of water a day after being limited to l.5 liters during dialysis for 2.5 years.  But by damn, I’ll do it.  

The head of the Nephrology team was my doctor Tuesday.  In discussing our plan to take the grandsons to Estes Park this weekend and how for years Heidi had to arrange dialysis in Longmont  when we went to Estes, his brilliant mind just wondered why someone doesn’t set up a mobile dialysis unit to service those remote towns.  I just may speak with Davita, whose national headquarters is now in Denver, about doing just that.  Davita is a mega company who sets up and owns the thousands of dialysis facilities around the nation.  Maybe they already have some mobile units, I don’t know.  But, it gives me something to do to find out.  I’ll  keep you posted.


I think all six of us - my family and my mom and dad are excited about going to Estes Park this weekend together.  This will be my family's mini-trip this summer thanks to my folks.  We have one more week of summer vacation.  I will start back to school with meetings on August 8th and the grand opening of the School Year 20011-2012 at St. John's Lutheran School  will begin on August 17th!  Lutheran High School in Parker will also begin that week although at this moment I am unsure on which day.

Prayer requests

  • In order to have happy doctors... both parties involved in the transplant process need to be drinking an acceptable amount of water... ie: A LOT!  Pray that mindsets can be changed and water will be consumed freely.  (Mostly Rod... I think I've got this down now!)
  • Safe travels for us as we vacation in Estes Park this weekend.
  • Thanks for all of our friends and family who make up our support system.  We depend upon all of you so much!
Blessings on your weekend!!


Sunday, July 24, 2011

Happy Sunday everyone!

Hi guys!

This is just a quick update to let you know that everything is still moving forward and time is marching on.  You probably already knew about the time part.

My mom and dad came over to our place for dinner last night.  They haven't been here for dinner since Father's Day.  I noted on Father's Day that my dad had very little strength - even needed help stepping up the two steps from our front yard into our house.

Here we are a month or so later and he was able to do everything with no help.  He even went up and down the stairs inside our house with no help.  He has mastered the stairs in his own home too.  This is a huge milestone in our transplant/recovery journey.  It is something for which to thank God!

We had always heard that the transplant is typically harder on the donor than on the recipient because the donor is a healthy person undergoing major surgery while the recipient is generally someone who is sick - but getting something that will make him feel better - almost immediately.

But you know us Sloans/Riches... we are not typical now nor have we ever been!  It's part of our charm.  I am just grateful that everything is moving in a forward direction now, and that recovery is happening still - for both of us.

Thank you for hanging in there with us.  My dad and I could never express the depth of our appreciation to all of you who cheer us on, pray for us and encourage us!  Thank you from the bottom of our hearts!

I will continue to update as needed.

Prayer requests

  • Continued strength gain and water drinking for both my dad and I.
  • Continued patience and understanding for my mom.
  • Prayers of thanks for the progress that has been made.
Blessings everyone!


Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Wednesday's news... Good news indeed! 7-20-11

Hello friends and family!

I don't think I have ever waited 5 days in between blogs!  As my dad and I progress (and it IS progress) the recovery just takes time and some days there just isn't much to share.

I had a dream last night about school.  This tells me that my mind is starting to process the fact that I will not get to sleep in until 8am for very much longer.  This also means that maybe I should be less offended when I see school supplies abundantly displayed at places like Target.  The end result is inevitable!  I will be starting to get excited and nervous both at the same time in the very coming days!

My dad has great news and he gave me his bit to put into the blog...

Tuesday was one of the best days since transplant rehab WE DON'T HAVE TO GO BACK ON FRIDAYS ANYMORE, JUST TUESDAYS. 

I lost about 30 pounds of nothing but fluid. That means I am rehabilitating well.  It opens the week for more activities, It is all good.  I am tired of being stuck here and having to watch those miserable Rockies play baseball like a fifth rate high school team.  

I am growing a grey goatee.  I kind of like the idea of seeing what it looks like on me.  Heidi is appalled, consequently it might not last too long. I had only two inquiries as to the whereabouts of the Christmas in July letter. I guess it was time for its demise.  

I need to go for now, Erica and Dax are coming over hang with me this morning, Heidi is taking Susan Kirch to lunch for her birthday.  What a blessing family and friends are.


The goatee part is funny.  My son Tanner who is 13 has been telling us that he wants to grow facial hair so he can shave cool designs into his neck and face... huh.  My dad has NEVER IN MY LIFE had any type of facial hair - EVER... period.  My first thought was that some personality trait that Tanner got from me was transplanted into my dad along with the new kidney!  It's okay... you can blame that one on me!  I like to be a little different anyway!! :)

Prayer requests:
  • Continued healing and recovery for both my dad and I
  • Continued patience and understanding for my dear mom!
  • Continued strength gain for my dad - the goal is to be able to go up and down the stairs in their home.
Thanks for all of your love and support.  It means the world to both of our families!



Friday, July 15, 2011

Friday's post from Rod... 7-15-11

As promised... here is my dad's bit for this blog.  He is being very kind - just remember... I learned from the best. :)

Bump,    * from Monica... Bump is the nickname my dad gave to me when I was very young - you'll have to ask him for an explanation!
So, the week is over, Heidi and I did our second transplant clinic today for this week.  We will have two clinics a week for a couple more weeks.  They are watching this old, tired ticker like a hawk.  I think they are surprised how well it purrs when in sink with the rest of the body.  Quite frankly, I am too.  When they get the heart rhythm in check, we are good, they are happy, i feel better and all is more right with the world. 

I am hearing from dear friends from all over the country Who read this blog and appreciate Monicas efforts.  She is an amazing young lady.  When you say Monica has a writing style like mine, it makes me feel good but actually she is much better than I am.  I need to go get ready for the Rockies Game on T.V.  Keep us all lifted up in prayer. 


I think that sums it all up pretty well for now!  Blessings dear friends and family!  Thanks again for all of your prayers and support!

Monica & Rod

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Thursday is a very good day! 7-14-11

Hello friends and family!

Everything continues to move in a forward motion for both my dad and me.  We are almost at the 6 week mark (this coming Monday).

I visited the vampires at the hospital yesterday - to prove that I AM drinking enough water... and my tests all had good results!!  Whoo Hoo... praise GOD!!

Remember when my dad went to the cardiologist and he put him on a heart monitor and consequently my dad ended up back in the hospital for another week (got out last Friday)?  Well, he went to the cardiologist again today 2 weeks later and, in my dad's own words, "He was happy!" (and God knows we really love happy doctors!!!)  My dad's problem heart rate is more stabilized and... in two week's time - he has lost 30 pounds of water retention!  That is so huge!  I think we have so much to be thankful for!

My dad said he would send me something for the blog tomorrow... so we can be looking forward to that.

Thanks again for all of the prayers and support all of you offer to me and my family!  As you can see... it is working.  We ask that you keep the prayers up!  Thanks so much!

Prayer requests

  • Thanks and praise for the progress happening for my dad!
  • Thanks that my tests all came back with good results!
  • Prayers for continued forward moving, positive healing for my dad and I.
Blessings to you all... you are such a blessing to us!


Monday, July 11, 2011

Monday's news 7-11-11 - Good news to report!

Greetings everyone!

I'm happy to report that all of our prayers have been working!  My dad has had two really good days and last night was also good (he sometimes has trouble sleeping).  When I spoke to my mom today and my dad yesterday - both of them sounded upbeat and happy.

My mom said that NOW she feels like recovery has begun for my dad.  The first month was very hard - especially on my mom, but she is a trooper and both of them feel like things are finally starting to move forward.

My dad even walked around the neighborhood with my mom today... I think this is huge!

SO... Thank you, thank you, thank you from all of us in the Sloan/Rich family for the prayers, well wishes and positive thoughts you all have been sending up on our behalf!  We feel blessed to have such a big network of family and friends who are looking out for us.  Please - don't stop!  We want all of this to continue moving forward!

Prayer requests

  • Thanks be to God for blessing my dad with continued, improved strength and healing!
  • Prayers for both of our recoveries to continue moving forward.
  • Prayers that my dad's kidney continues to do its job.
Blessings friends!


Friday, July 8, 2011

Friday's musings 7-8-11

Hello friends and family!

Today was a good day as they let my dad go home from the hospital.  This means that the swelling he was experiencing throughout his whole body is down to a more acceptable level, and it also means that they have finally taken control of his heartbeat and it is also at a more acceptable level.  Praise God!

He is still working on gaining his strength and has been advised to not use stairs yet (there are 13 of them in their home... he has counted them!)  I think this will all come in time.

My dad told me that my mom has just been awesome throughout this whole ordeal... we praise God for her and her stamina and patience as well!

Here is my dad's take on this - in his own words....

Home from the hospital today (Friday).  It will take all  day springing the dude out.  Doctors move at an exceeding slow pace.  About as fast as a herd of ruptured turtles. One of the lessons The Lord has been hitting me the head to learn is patience.  I have been a good student (to a degree), today will be a test.  I want to refrain from becoming too agitated.  A lot of the swelling in my legs has gone down.  I am on the mend.  I am a happy camper at 6:00 a.m.


Prayer requests for today:

  • Continued strength and healing for my dad.
  • Continued patience for my mom.
  • Continued stamina and strength regaining for me.  Every day I feel better and better.
Thanks for being our prayer warriors!  God bless all of you!


Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Tuesday's blog... somebody must be praying for patience!

Greetings family and friends!

I hope this blog post finds all of you happy and filled with pride to be here in America.  Our 4th of July was a fun day spent with good friends and fireworks!  It was awesome!  In my mind it marks the middle of summer.  This is also the time I feel I need to turn my focus more on what I'm going to do differently (and better) in my class this coming school year.  Don't worry - it's only July 5th... I'm not spending the whole day on these thoughts just yet! :)

So the news about my dad being in the hospital has not changed much.  He is still there and the main goal to get him ready to go home is twofold:

#1. His heart rate is still not stable and his nephrologist (kidney doctor) told my dad that he was going to "work aggressively" with the cardiologist to get his heart to quit dancing around so much.  This is mostly a medication and dosage deal.  The kidney continues to make me proud!

#2. They are also working hard to reduce the fluid retention my dad is experiencing.  I just got off the phone with him and he told me that he doesn't see much difference - but his doctors told him that there is progress being made.  I'm going along with the doctors on this one... the good news is that because of the fluid retention - they are giving my dad lasix which draws the fluid out of the body and makes him pee more - which is exercising the bladder more which was ALSO one of the goals!  (hope that's not too much information!)

In the meantime, while my mom misses having my dad at home - and I'm sure you can imagine that he would rather be at home as well... they both have told me that they are glad he is at the hospital surrounded by the people who know best how to get him back on his feet.  Today he walked at least twice around the hospital floor... not having to stop and rest and not holding on to the rail... baby steps - but for my dad... this is HUGE!  Strength is being gained and God is answering all of our prayers!  Please keep it up my fellow prayer warriors!!  And, thank you again for all of the wonderful support and prayers - they are making a difference for sure!

Prayer requests:

  • Continued strength gain for my dad.
  • Fluid retention and swelling to go down and away for my dad.
  • Patience for my dad who is in the hospital (and not at home) and for his caregivers who are trying their hardest to get him ready to go back home.
  • Continued recovery for both of us.  Tomorrow marks the one month ago mark... can you believe it???
Blessings to all of you!


Sunday, July 3, 2011

Sunday's blog - news from Rod

Hi everyone,

My dad sent me a bit to put into our blog - so I'm going to let him have the stage.

I'm feeling patriotic.  

One of my favorite American authors says  You have to love a nation that celebrates its independence every July 4, not with a parade of guns, tanks, and soldiers who file by the White House in a show of strength and muscle, but with family picnics where kids throw Frisbees, the potato salad gets iffy, and the flies die from happiness.  You may think you have overeaten, but it is patriotism.  ~Erma Bombeck

Then join hand in hand, brave Americans all!
By uniting we stand, by dividing we fall.
~John Dickinson

That's all that's in me this morning.  My swelling is down, that's the goal.


Blessings on your holiday tomorrow.  Cherish your families and your freedom - they are priceless!


p.s. - I have no idea why the font changes sizes like this - It all looks good in my preview! :)

Saturday, July 2, 2011

Saturday 7-2-11

Hi everyone...

I know in a past blog I mentioned that I would only be posting every other day... and I just posted yesterday - but I've gotten so much feedback about my dad being in the hospital and so many of you praying and keeping us in your thoughts - I really felt the need to update you about my dad's progress.

My mom and dad are both in a very positive place right now.  My dad is still in the hospital and probably will be until after the 4th, but after talking to both of them today - I feel they are both feeling a little bit relieved having him in the hospital until the doctors can work out what they need to for my dad to go home and continue his recovery without the complications he was experiencing last week.

The problem seems still to be stemming from my dad's heart and the medications he takes to keep it ticking.  It seems as if it is a waiting game right now, but we are all okay with the waiting if it is going to take care of the problem.  The kidney continues to work and be happy.  This is a good thing!

I cannot express in words how much your support and prayers mean to us collectively!  I am hearing from people who know my dad but not myself - who are reading my blog.  Friends I have known for years are supportive and positive... thank you to all of you!  It really means a lot to all of us but especially to my dad and me!

I will post again on Monday unless anything else crops up - my prayer for all of you is that you all have a very relaxing holiday weekend filled with family and fun.

Thanks again for all of the support!

Prayer requests

  • Wisdom for the doctors to know what it takes to get my dad stable and ready to go home.
  • Thank you to all of our military past and present who help us keep a reason to celebrate our freedom on Monday, July 4th!


Friday, July 1, 2011

Friday's news 7-1-11 Rod back in the hospital

Happy Friday friends and family!

We have yet another set back concerning my dad.  As I mentioned in the last post he has been struggling with being light-headed and weakness so much so that he has taken to using a walker in the house to get around.  It turns out that this is a symptom of atrial fibrillation going on in his heart.

Twice this week Chris needed to go over to my folks house and help my dad up from falling (once passing out) because of all of this.  He went to his cardiologist yesterday and they put on a heart monitor that they check several times a day over the phone.  After 2 submissions yesterday the cardiologist on call called my dad and told him he wanted him to go to PSL E.R. to be checked.  They kept him overnight for observation but my mom said this morning that he may be there several days until they can get this worked out.

The person my mom talked to at the cardiologist office this morning said that there are two reasons this is happening to my dad.  First - he is coming off of a pretty major surgery, and his body needs to heal from it.  Second - the addition of the anti-rejection meds for the new kidney is messing with the other meds he was already on for his heart.

As you may imagine - this has been one long process for my mom.  When I talked with her this morning, she sounded upbeat.  It is much better on the nerves when he is in the hospital where they can take care of what is wrong and there are many people working to make this right than when my dad is home with my mom and something happens and she doesn't know what to do or can't do it herself.  We will go and see him later this afternoon.

Meanwhile the kidney is doing just what it is supposed to do seemingly oblivious to everything else that is going on around it.  I told my mom it is doing just what I told it to do before the surgery.  I told her I have all sorts of people in my life that I tell what to do and the kidney - so far - has been the best listener! :)

Prayer requests

  • Wisdom for the doctors to know how to fix the a-fibs my dad is experiencing
  • Patience for my dad being in the hospital - yet again
  • Peace and rest for my mom... she is so strong!
  • Release from the hospital only after the problem has been diagnosed and fixed.
Blessings on your holiday weekend!  Be safe!


Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Success at the hospital!

Hi friends!  Sorry I didn't post last night.  I told the Facebook audience that as it turns out there IS something that annoys me more than the beagles that live at my house - undependable Internet connectivity... I tried and tried but just couldn't get it to work!

So here we are on Wednesday morning.  My mom and dad went to his appointment bright and early yesterday and were so happy to leave the hospital minus the catheter!  YAY!!  a round of drinks for everyone (water - that is!)  Of course they are watching very closely to make sure everything is working as it should... now the bladder who has been inactive for so long can finally get some work-outs!

The thing that is so worrisome right now is that my dad is still so weak.  He has taken to using a walker in the house.  His strength seems to be less than it was - so they will be calling today to see what needs to be done to turn the tides on his strength gain.

Since we have reached the milestone of the catheter removal, I will be posting on my blog about every other day instead of every day.  I will post again on Friday to let you know how the next appointment goes.

Thanks for tuning in and for the prayers and support!

Prayer requests

  • Strength to return to my dad.
  • Thank you, thank you, thank you for the catheter removal!
  • My dad's creatinine levels were normal (yay...keep going little kidney!)
Blessings on your day!  Stay cool - it's going to be nearly 100 degrees today here in Denver!


Monday, June 27, 2011

Monday's news 6-27-11

Another beautiful day in sunny Colorado... wow do I just really love the summer!

We had a pretty big weekend.  I ended up overdoing it a bit and woke up feeling sick and beaten down.  I spent the day on the couch reading and resting.  This evening I'm feeling much better but still very tired.  It is hard, I've found, when you feel good - to slow down and take it easy.  Every day I feel better and better, but I still need a crazy amount of rest.  This is something I'm not used to - but will definitely be on the watch for in the future!

My dad is gearing up for his next appointment at the hospital tomorrow bright and early at 7am.  This is the day (again) that we are hoping to have the catheter removal.  We had lunch with my family yesterday and, while I talk to my mom and dad each day - I hadn't seen my dad since Father's Day last Sunday.  He is regaining his strength.  He was able to get into and out of the car by himself and walking seemed easier.  He still has a long way to go to gain good solid strength, but maybe if he doesn't have that catheter - he will at least have to get up and use the bathroom more often!  It's the little things that add up!

Prayer requests

  • Good sleep and rest for my mom and dad.
  • Successful catheter removal tomorrow.
  • Patience and wisdom for both of my parents.
  • Rest and recovery for me.
Thanks again for the prayers!



Saturday, June 25, 2011

Saturday's blog 6-25-11 by Monica and Rod

There is not much new to report today except that when I spoke to my dad on the phone today - I got an eerie feeling - it was like talking with him before he got sick.  I think we have all noticed that my dad's head is clearer now that dialysis is not a part of his life, but hearing it on the phone... when I wasn't expecting it - well, it was really nice.

He is getting stronger slowly but surely.  I'm proud of him and also of my mom... this has been a lot to deal with and grasp.  They are handling it well.  God is good to us - he is giving us the strength we need.  Thank you for the prayers!  They are working.

My dad gave me a bit to put into my blog tonight... here is his view of what happened at yesterday's appointment at the hospital.

So, my angel Heidi and I spent the day at Presbyterian, St. Luke's Friday.  Last week they warned us, each time we come to an appointment, bring everything we need to spend the day.  Spend the day we did.  

At about  10:30 a.m. we had talked to everyone and were packing up to leave and go home.  The doctor walked in again and said we had a problem.  My Magnesium level was dangerously low.  I needed to get to the Magnesium Infusion Lab and slow drip three I.V.,s of Magnesium, each taking an hour, in an I.V they had trouble inserting in my arm.  We had no idea there was such a thing as a Magnesium Infusion Lab.  In all my limited medical experience, which I thought was vast, no one had ever mentioned Magnesium levels to me.  

Heidi and I are on a forced educational journey, what a wild ride.  I need to go, my mind is getting cloudy.  I ned a nap.  


Prayer requests

  • Continued patience and strength gain for my dad.
  • Continued patience and wisdom for my mom. 
Thanks again for following the journey with us and for all of the support we get from all of you!



Friday, June 24, 2011

finally... Friday!

Today was a day we have been waiting for, as my dad had his next post-op appointment at the hospital.  After last week, his doctors decided he should come every Tuesday and Friday until things settle down a bit.

We were hoping for a catheter removal today but were told we would need to shoot for Tuesday.  Instead, surprisingly, the doctors put my dad on a magnesium I.V. because his magnesium levels were so low.  In fact, they said if there had been a reading taken at home - they would have sent the paramedics... it was that low.  We are a little baffled at what level our magnesium needs to be at, what causes it to go so low and how the heck do we control it?  I was glad the docs gave my dad a prescription for magnesium so that we don't have to try and control that with diet!  He had to be on the I.V. for 3 hours but is home now and resting... it was just another really big day.

Our family will gather again on Sunday evening to celebrate Kelby's 16th birthday.  I'm trying to ignore the utter and complete shock I feel about this (the birthday - not the family gathering!).  My nephew Dax (6 weeks old) came and hung out at our house today. It could've been Kelby... it must've been just yesterday he was only 6 weeks old... not 16 years ago!  WOW.

Prayer Requests

  • Patience and calmness for both my mom and my dad as we wait for things to start healing and moving forward.
  • Thanks that my dad's new kidney seems to have no idea what is going on elsewhere in the body and it keeps doing its job.
  • Thanks that my recovery is going really well.
Thank you friends and family for checking here and for your support and prayers.  We value them all and love you for them!



Thursday, June 23, 2011

Thursday's musing...

Not much to report today.  My dad has his next appointment tomorrow and we are all hoping for a catheter removal which will be followed by much celebration!

My new nephew Dax will be hanging out with us tomorrow.  He is about 6 weeks old and he is THE BOMB!  I told my sister (his mom) that I would teach him how to ride a two-wheeler and how to rub two sticks together to make a fire!  Well... maybe that is a little ambitious for our first play-date... but trust me - I've got plans for that little guy!! :-)

I will let you know about tomorrow's appointment - I'm being optimistic about it though.  Thanks for keeping up with us and for all of the prayers!

Prayer requests:

  • Catheter removal at tomorrow's appointment.
  • Walking and water consumption for my dad to gain strength.
  • Patience and wisdom for my mom in this difficult time!
Thanks guys!



Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Wednesday's post is up!

Hi all!  I hope your day was a good one.  All things considered it was a good day at my camp as well.

My dad reported that he is up and working on the walking.  One walk this morning and another planned for this evening after it got a little cooler.  I am proud of him... he is working on becoming stronger.  I think the fact that overall... he feels better is helping so much!

I had lunch today with one of my dearest friends Charlene at the Cherokee on 12th St.  Awesome food and ambiance and awesome company.  If you get a chance to pick where you go out to eat... try the Cherokee... family owned by longtime friends of mine and really - unbeatable!

As promised... my dad did send his bit for this blog.  I think my dad and I are writers by birth - we both love it.  Here it is:

My angel daughter, Monica thought I might like to make an occasional contribution to her blog.  She is doing such a marvelous job on her own, I didn't want to mess it up.  But for years I have written a weekly, blog, by invitation only, which I vowed to cease and desist from until full recovery from the kidney operation.  But in truth, I miss it, so I will add my two cents worth once in a while.  If you think I should keep my nose out of it, drop me an email and tell me.  That does not mean I'll stop, but it might.  My blog tends to become a bit raw on occasion as I give my jaundiced view on news worthy events.  I'll refrain from that malady. 

You might not believe this, but I received a refund check, last week,  from a medical billing company, in the amount of $0.02 cents.   Had to have cost them several dollars to clear their records.  Just so they can't,  I'm keeping the check, uncashed.  It is taped to the desk in my office.  

Well, as you know, my catheter is still in place. It takes great restraint for me to report this unpassionately.  Heidi, my other angel, and I were at the Transplant Center Tuesday  morning.  They did not take the catheter out and then have to put it back in like they did Friday.  There is an event I'll shut up about.  I need to quit now, I'm gone.  


Maybe some of you who have known me for a long time.... perhaps all of my life - well, you might see some family resemblance between my dad and I.  You know the story about the fallen apple and the tree...  :)

Blessings friends and family!

Monica & Rod

Prayer requests:

  • Continued healing for the both of us!
  • Strength and water consumption for my dad. :)
  • Still praying for catheter removal on Friday.   

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Tuesday... first day of Summer!!! Yay!

Happy official summer everyone!  Today was a good day.  My dad's appointment at the hospital was short (prayer answered!) and there was both good news and bad news.  The bad news was that he was not ready to get rid of the catheter - so we wait and hope that on Friday, at his next appointment, this will be something that happens.

The good news is that my dad will be able to go places during these next 3 months unlike we had previously thought.  My mom and I both heard them say that he was not to go out in public for three months... no church, no restaurants, no grocery store, bank, etc.  Today his doctors said that this was NOT the case and that my dad just needs to be careful when out in public - staying away from people who are coughing or are visibly sick.  This was a big relief for my mom and dad!

My dad's level of creatinine (I looked up how to spell it... I hope this is right!) is low - which is good and the kidney is still working and doing its job just like we talked about before the surgery!  All in all I feel like we are all moving in the forward direction - maybe at different rates, but that is okay... we have nothing but time to do this right!

I've invited my dad to either be a guest blogger here on my blog, or to add his own thoughts to what I write.  He said he would love to - so be watching for that!

Prayer requests:

  • Catheter removal for this Friday.
  • Continued strength gain and water consumption for my dad.
  • Thanks for the lifting of the 3 month seclusion sentence!
  • Continued healing for both of us.
Blessings on your evening!


Monday, June 20, 2011

Monday's news

I hope all of you had a really nice Father's Day/Sunday yesterday.  I took the day off from my blog so as to prepare for a family dinner/celebration at our home to honor the three dads in our midst.  Happy Father's Day to my dad Rod, my husband Chris and my brother-in-law Denver!  We love you guys!

My sister and her family came over as well as my mom and dad.  My dad is still very weak and moving slowly... but he is moving!  This will only help him gain his strength.  When I talk to him on the phone, his voice sounds stronger, I think after surviving last Friday - his resolve is stronger and I am hopeful that his body is soon to follow.

Tomorrow he goes back to the hospital to try again to prove he is ready to go home without a catheter.  This would be a big hurdle and I think would help to bolster his determination to get stronger.  I'll let you know how it goes.

The transplant coordinator called me today and after the initial pleasantries you exchange at the beginning of a phone call she said, "You are not drinking enough water."  I thought about asking her if she'd planted cameras in my house... but then realized this must be her way to let me know how my blood work from last Thursday turned out.  My kreatin levels are either too low or too high.  64oz. of water a day is what the doctor orders for both my dad and I... it isn't a stretch for me to drink that much water in a day... my dad on the other hand... .

Specific Prayers for today:

  • A short visit to the hospital tomorrow for my mom and dad.
  • Catheter removal and all body parts working together for the good of the whole.
  • Strength to return to my dad and a new found love of water!
 Here is a picture of Kelby (almost 16), Tanner (13), Reina (4), and Dax (5 weeks).  They make the 4 grandchildren.  They are 4 of the reasons this surgery happened.
Here is a picture of my dad and I yesterday on Father's Day.  Even when weak... he still looks better now than he did before the surgery!

Blessings on your week!


Saturday, June 18, 2011

Saturday - a day of rest around here...

Well then... after the happenings of yesterday - I feel like I almost have not much to say! That is a very nice thing to report.

My mom and dad went home from last night's visit to the E.R. around 11pm.  When my mom called me to tell me they were coming home, she sounded better than any of the other times I had spoken with her throughout the day.  It seems that there are some very kind folks who work at the Aurora Medical Center, and they treated my mom and dad with love and respect and that went a long way to help some very frayed nerves.  Please always remember the love and respect towards others... you may never know how much it is needed or appreciated!

Naps were had by all involved in yesterday's activities and I was told there was even some snoring... which to me says that rest was being taken.  THAT was my own prayer for my mom and dad.  I saw them both today and both were in good spirits and seemed well rested - as well as can be expected.

We are looking forward to spending Father's Day together tomorrow at my house.  I am looking forward to going to church with my family in the morning.  It is the little normal things that I am treasuring.  My appetite is returning in spurts (which is not really normal) and I've noticed that I am a little bit more emotional than I was before.  I did not consider myself a very emotional person at all... but here lately - I don't know, it is different.

Prayer requests:

  • Continued healing for both my dad and myself.
  • My dad's parts all working together in harmony.
  • All fathers having a very Happy Father's Day tomorrow.
Blessings friends,


Friday, June 17, 2011

T.G.I.F... really! Setbacks happen... right?!

Happy Friday everyone!

Today ended up being a really long, hard day for my mom and dad during the post-op appointment at the hospital.

My dad went in expecting to get the catheter out.  This was the day we were going to see if everything worked on its own along with the new kidney.  They spent the better part of 7 hours at the hospital and ended up leaving with a catheter which was disappointing for sure.

I won't go into huge detail, but remember - my dad's bladder has been basically unused for several years.  The bladder is a muscle and his is going to need - well, a workout (more than one) to get stronger and work properly.  The kidney is working as it should, but it seems that all of the parts that need to play nicely together... well let's just say that some need a little more convincing.

Then to make a long day even longer... there was a complication in the new catheter and so they had to head to the E.R. to get it worked out.  That is where they are right now.

Luckily, some angels that go to St. John's (one of them was in my class this past year!) brought them over some homemade cards and a homemade dinner and they will probably never know how very much all of that was needed on this night!  Thank you Melanie & family!

Setbacks are a part of life.  I remember my dad, when he was going through the long, tiring process of trying to get approved to be on the recipient list, telling me that he thought the doctors were asking for too much, too many tests to be redone, so many extra tests to be taken... it all seemed like too much.  He even talked about pulling out and not going through with any of it anymore.  Enough!  But... he kept on keeping on, and eventually he got approved!  This process might be just as long - but I believe in my heart that it will be worth it all.

Our God is a good God and He has seen us through to this point... I trust He will not let go of us now.

Specific prayers:

  • My dad to get everything worked out at the E.R. tonight (soon). 
  • Good sleep and rest for both my mom and dad tonight.
  • All God given body parts to wake up and work together for the good of the whole.
  • Peace for my mom... this is a lot.
Thank you friends and family for your prayers and support.  We love you.



Thursday, June 16, 2011

Thursday's musing...

Another good day on the transplantation front!

I had my post-op appointment today at the hospital. The coordinator gave me the thumbs up, she is very happy with my progress and even said I was a "poster child" for the donor part of a transplant!  I know - I know... there are different types of "poster children" but I took this one as a positive!  My next move is that I need to have my Keratin levels checked every three months by my own doctor... but I am free from needing to return to the hospital (whoo hoo!!).

I have a tribute blog planned for those who actually work in a hospital based on my observations and experience, but that will have to wait until the current happenings for my dad and I settle down a bit.

My dad will go back tomorrow for his own post-op appointment.  I won't be joining them on this one.  I am anxious to hear him tell me that he is doing well also.

Thanks, as always, for all of the great support and prayers you all are offering up on our behalf... it is definitely working and God has been so good to both of our families!

Specific prayer requests:

  • Good information given to my mom and dad tomorrow
  • A good report as to how my dad is doing now that he is at home.
Blessings to all of you and yours!


Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Wednesday's News - All are home!

Wow!  Today was a big, long day for all involved... but my dad is finally HOME!!  Yay!  Thanks to all who have been praying for that - prayers were answered and he and my mom are so very happy to be home tonight!

I went with my mom this morning around 9 to the hospital.  Mostly, I went to lend some moral support and another set of ears to hear any directives that were given.  I am glad I went as it was almost 6 hours of directives and information!  My mom is a SAINT!!  She is brave and strong and someone I aspire to be like.  I love her and I know my dad is so appreciative of all she does to keep him going... we all are!!

Thanks Mom!!

I return tomorrow to show off how well I am doing after surgery.  My dad has the same type of appointment on Friday.  Thanks for all the support and prayers as well as meals, cards, gifts, etc.!  The outpouring of love from everyone is overwhelming and humbling!  My parents and my family have the MOST AWESOME extended family through work, church, etc!  Thanks again to all.

Specific Prayers:

  • Continued healing for my dad and me.
  • An easy transition into the new regimen of meds and diet for my dad.
  • Good post-op appointments for both of us this week.
Blessings to you all on this fine Wednesday evening!


Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Tuesday's post - wow... you guys are good!

Today was a good day all the way around!  I must say - I don't know what your exact prayers were after reading my blog from yesterday... but my neck pain is all but GONE!  All that is left is a bit of aching from muscles I used differently to compensate for the pain!  Thank you from the bottom of my heart and the side of my neck! :)

My dad also had a good day.  The doctors were upbeat and seemed excited about the results of his biopsy from yesterday.  The kidney looks good and is still producing urine - which is its job.  His Keratin levels are lower than they were yesterday, but still a bit too high to go home today.  They are really hoping and saying that he will be on his way home tomorrow... I'll be excited when it really happens!  Our family is hopeful though - as is my dad!

Specific prayers for tonight:

  • Thanks for a gas bubble going away!
  • That Rod makes it home tomorrow - if the time is truly right.
  • Continued healing for the both of us.
  • Learning and patience for my mom and dad as they adjust to new meds and a new life without dialysis... (yay!)
Blessings to all of you!


Monday, June 13, 2011

Monday, Monday.

Sorry this post is so late... it seems that our home Internet connection wanted a lot of one on one time and refused to work until it got what it wanted!

So today was another day of recovery for both my dad and me.  I have to remember that every day is a day that we heal and get stronger.

I did find out that the tremendous neck pain that I have is a pain caused from residual gas left over from the surgery.  The surgeons had to pump gas into my belly to make it so they can see what they are doing.  Gas was always something I knew I would deal with in recovery, but gas pain - in my neck... really?  That sounds like something that could only happen to me!  Unfortunately, it is common for many people who have laproscopic surgery.  I was advised to drink lots of water and do as much walking as I can.  Both yesterday and today I walked a half mile on the treadmill.  I think this part will just be a waiting game.

My dad and his doctors are working to fine tune his medications.  There are many meds to deal with - not just the anti-rejection meds but also medications that he was already on for heart and diabetes issues.  The docs decided to do a needle biopsy on my dad's kidney today to check and see if he is getting the correct level of medications.  Meanwhile, his kidney is working well and producing urine... it seems unfazed by all of the attention.  We will have the results of the biopsy tomorrow afternoon.

I forgot to give you specific prayers in my last post, but was confident that you would be able to glean it out of what I shared with you.

Specific prayers for today are:

  • My dad's biopsy results are what they should be.
  • My dad will be able to go home soon.
  • The neck pain I have will go away (I just can't bring myself to ask you to pray that I pass the gas!! :-)
  • Healing for both of us continues on as scheduled.
  • My dad's kidney continues to be happy in its new home.
Thanks all! 



Sunday, June 12, 2011

Sunday's News

What a great couple of days it has been since I've returned home from the hospital.  We had many visits from good friends and even my niece Charlotte from Albuquerque!  She just happened to be in town this weekend... it was just what the doctor ordered!

I took my first trip out of the house today to visit my dad who is still on the 10th floor at PSL.  His spirits were good today and he had just returned from a walk around the floor - which they really push you to strive for at the hospital.

His recovery began to slow down a couple of days ago and yesterday his kidney took a time out.  It quit.  We all held out breath... and prayed.  All along this process we were told that every body is different.  Sometimes recipients have to go to dialysis the first week after they leave the hospital to sort of "jump-start" the kidney into doing it's job in its new home.  I think the collective "we" (the family) were really the only ones worried about this... the doctors calmly adjusted my dad's meds (because every body is different and responds differently) and today the kidney returned to nearly normal function.  May I say... "WHEW"!

The doctors will tell my dad tomorrow when he can go home, but I'm thinking that he probably won't be going home tomorrow like we had hoped.

My own recovery here at home is steady.  I have developed a terrible pain in my neck (like, I think it might be a pinched nerve...?) and that hurts me more than the surgery sites.  It brings tears to my eyes at times.  I've decided that this is not what they gave me pain meds for though and I'm trying to control it with Tylenol (which certainly, is not nearly as good as the pain meds!) The surgery sites on my belly are healing and for that I am grateful!

They were right about my energy level.  We went to Anthony's Pizza for lunch today at my request (which told me that my appetite is returning - yay!) and then a quick trip to Target and I was done - almost all out of energy before we left Target!  It was nice to get out of the house... don't worry - I won't be pushing it or overdoing it any time soon!

So there you have it.  Everything I know up to this point... except I didn't mention all the wonderful people who have brought over meals, cards and such - Thank you - Thank you - Thank you!!  You will never know how much my family and I appreciate the outpouring of love and concern we are getting both for us and for my parents!

See you in the next blog...  Blessings!


Friday, June 10, 2011

TGIF! Friday's News

I am so grateful and happy to be able to tell you that I am composing today's blog from the comfort of my own couch!  God is good and He saw to it that I would be able to go home from the hospital today.  I was ready!

My dad will be staying until Monday as they still have a few functions they are working on to get back to normal - one of which is a lower and steady heartbeat.  Last night it was just a little too high for them to say he could come home today.  He, of course, is disappointed but will do what is necessary to assure that once he gets home he will not have to return because it was too early.

My dad and I are both so very appreciative of all the friends and family who have stopped by the hospital to visit or have called, or sent cards.  It does a lot to lift spirits!  I will be a more frequent visitor of friends in the hospital now that I have been on that receiving end.

Specific prayers:  Thanks and praise that Monica was able to go home today and continued healing!  Continued healing and a release for Rod from the hospital.  Thanks that God put some good people into place to help my mom and dad work out the new medications and restrictions for life after the hospital.

Blessings friends!


Thursday, June 9, 2011

Thursdays Post

I can hardly believe it is already Thursday!  This was the day I was supposed to go home, but I just got word that I will be here until tomorrow.  It is a little disappointing for me and my family.  I think it is mostly due to the fact that they had a donor come in last night and everyone who needs to sign off on me going home is in surgery.  I'm thinking that this is most likely a cadaver donor - there is not much control on when those type of donations come in.

My dad had a good night and his systems are kicking into gear this afternoon.  I know he will feel so much better now that they are starting up again.  My own systems started up last night lending me a pretty good night's sleep.  I've been up and around here walking laps around the floor and napping in between visits from lots of friends and family who are stopping by.  We so appreciate the visits!  My dad has stated several times that he is ready to go home.  I think as soon as the doctors and nurses agree - he will be granted a pardon from this place... but not before!

We are hopeful that a release from the hospital for both of us will be tomorrow.

Specific prayers:
As my mom and dad learn about life after transplant, diet changes and medications - we are praying that they do not feel overwhelmed by all of this new information and that they can and will work together to make everything function in the proper way.

A release to go home when the time is right.

Blessings everyone!


Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Wednesday's Post

So today is a new day!  My dad and I are progressing nicely according to the hospital staff.  I was disconnected from my IV and pain pump which allowed me to take a shower and wear my own clothes... it's the little things that make us happy!  I also started eating again - soft stuff, but that's okay - it makes me feel more normal.  So far, a cup of coffee has been my favorite thing to have back!

My dad's new kidney is doing well and doing its job in overtime... apparently when you take a kidney out of its normal environment it becomes a bit hyperactive and overworks itself.  That was happening yesterday, today it seems to have settled in a bit.

My dad had one other little mishap early this morning.  Apparently he decided he wanted to get out of bed by himself with no help, and his heart became agitated and went into A-Fibs which is a rapid heartbeat that doesn't settle down.  They did get it under control with meds and he is back on oxygen now but the danger has passed.   He is also resistant to taking the pain medication (why?  I have NO idea!)  He's been told by more than one person that he doesn't need to be a hero - take the meds!  Personally, they make me very happy and comfortable!

I just met with the surgeon who did my part of the transplant.  He feels things are going well.  He wants all of the body functions to start up again before I go home.  This means I am in the hospital until at least tomorrow.  My dad had a different doctor and we haven't heard yet their prediction for when he gets to go home.  I hope he starts following the rules or he might be here for a long time!

Specific prayers for today include: the digestive systems for both of us to wake up and start working normally, less pain (or at least controlled pain) and that Rod will behave and follow the rules. :-)

Thanks as always for all of the prayers and well wishes!


Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Day two Tuesday

Thank you to Chris who did such a nice job updating my blog yesterday.  He is my hero in many ways! :)

I am sitting in my dad's room visiting with him for the first time since before the surgery.  My day started out a little rough, but I had some awesome visitors who lifted my spirits and just within the last hour my body is starting to cooperate and feel better.

My dad has good color and is feeling well.  He is trying to decide what to order for dinner - which is a good sign.  He's talking about all of this food and has convinced me that I may even order a sandwich.

Specific prayers this time are that we both continue to be infection-free and that all bodily functions return to normal.

Thank you so much to all who are keeping us covered in prayer.  God has been good to both of us through this whole process and I know the blessings will continue.

Blessings on your evening,


Monday, June 6, 2011

Surgery update

Hi guys.  This is Chris, Monica's husband,  with an update.  The surgery went well.  Monica's was done by 9:00am and her dad's was over by about 10;30.  The donated kidney started working on Rod's operating table so that is great news!  I left the hospital about an hour ago and Rod was still in recovery.   I was able to spend a couple of hours with Monica but she wasn't very good company, she couldn't stay awake.  The docs say tomorrow will be kinda rough for her but after that she should recover pretty quickly with a full recovery in 3-4 weeks.  Thanks to everyone for their thoughts and prayers, they truly do help.

Love to all,

Friday, June 3, 2011

The countdown begins...

Many thanks for such a positive response to this blog! 

We are getting closer!  There is a nervous energy that follows me around - it's probably just me. :)  My dad and I are to report to Presbyterian/St. Lukes Hospital at 5:30 am on Monday morning.  Our surgeries will begin around 7am.  We should both be done with the surgeries and out of recovery by about noon - barring nothing out of the ordinary happens.

This past Tuesday we had an extensive (long) meeting at the hospital.  My mom, dad, Chris and I were all there.  Seperately, my dad and I were able to meet and talk with our surgeons.  I really liked mine and he did much to put Chris' and my mind at ease.  He assured us that this is nothing new to him!  My dad felt comfortable with he surgeon as well.  We pretty much got the low down on everything that was going to happen... I won't bore you with the details.

I did find out one interesting thing.  Apparently, a donor is tested for 6 different criteria, which are called antigens, during the testing process.  I think this included things like the correct blood type, we had to have similar DNA, they mixed our blood together to make sure there wasn't an oil & water situation, etc.  Our coordinator told me on Tuesday that I was a 5 out of 6 match!  That is a pretty good match!

Thanks to the many of you who are keeping us in your prayers!  We need them and we feel loved by all of you.  I will try to get a post out to you on Monday afternoon - even if Chris has to post it for me. :-)

Blessings on your weekend!!

Monday, May 30, 2011

First Blog Ever...

So!  I made it to the posting of my very first blog.  Choosing a name was taxing to say the least (I'm still open for suggestions but I liked Monica's Musings the best so far!)

It is my hope to use this place to update friends and family who may be interested in the progress made by myself and my dad after we undergo a kidney transplant next Monday, June 6, 2011.  My dad has been sick for two and a half years.  He has been going to dialysis for renal (kidney) failure 3 times a week (4 hours each time).  He was cleared just before Christmas to be on the recipient list and I was tested and proven to be a kidney match right around the first of April.

It is also my hope that this blog will eventually be a place to share other things not related to the kidney.

The surgery will be Monday, June 6, 2011.  It will take place at Presbyterian/St. Luke's Hospital here in Denver.  I will be in the hospital until probably Thursday and my dad will most likely come home on Friday.  Prayers are needed for, specifically, 2 uneventful and infection-free surgeries for my dad and me, and also that my dad's body does not reject his new kidney.

My friend Steve Johnson has graciously offered to arrange meals for my family.  He can be contacted by email at or by cell phone 720.232.5986.  Thanks Steve... you are awesome!

That's all for now.  Let's see if I can figure out how to let everyone know about my new blog.  :)